Introduction: Origami Globe

So I have been making origami for years now, and finally stumbled upon this simple "triangle unit" technique. After some brainstorming, I realized that the perfect project (combination of challenge and fun) would be to make a globe. This origami globe only uses about 1400 pieces of paper, and can be turned on its axis. If you have the time and the patience, you won't regret it. Before you start any step, make sure to look through all the pictures for more detail. This is especially important for the assembly, where I recommend following the complete images exactly. The finished product looks amazing, and it's great to have standing around. Also, this is my first instructable, so I hope you enjoy it and feel free to comment any questions. Have fun!


For each continent I used a different color. The sheets count is for (8.5 inches x 11 inches). You can either use my color pattern or change it, your choice!

- Yellow (North America): 2 sheets

- Purple (South America): 2 sheets

- Orange (Africa): 2 sheets

- Green (Europe): 1 sheet

- Pink (Asia): 4 sheets

- Red (Australia): 1 sheet

- White (Antarctica): 3 sheets

- Blue (Ocean): 28 sheets

- Black (Base): 6 sheets

- 1 pencil or rod for the axis

Other Optional Materials Include:

- Movies and TV series to binge-watch while folding (anything with more than 7 seasons should be sufficient)

- Hot Glue Gun (In case your units aren't staying in place. Definitely not necessary for the Earth but can be helpful for the base/stand of the globe)

- Folding card/bone (I prefer relatively thin gift-cards)

- Paper Cutter or scissors for cutting paper

- Writing Utensil

Step 1: Cut Paper

You will need to cut the 11 inch (28cm) side of the paper into 8 strips, each 3.5cm wide. Next, cut those strips into 4 (3.5cm x 5cm) pieces. You should be able to make 32 pieces per sheet. Just repeat this step for all of your paper.

Step 2: Plan Out the Map

For this step you will want to print out your own map or use the one that I did. Then draw a graph through it (this is where you get to choose the amount of units you use— the more units you end up using, the more accurate your globe will be). My graph was 47 units wide and 33 units high. Also, make sure to stagger the vertical lines after each intersection. You can then mark around the continents to determine the final configuration. Here you can also count all the rectangles to know how many units you will really need. Remember that this map is just a reference, and you do not need to follow it exactly. While assembling, you can alter things to make them look and feel right.

Step 3: Stack Up the Pieces

Now that you have cut and counted the amount of units you will need, start making stacks. For reference, I used approximately:

- 45 Yellow

- 40 Purple

- 55 Orange

- 15 Green

- 100 Pink

- 20 Red

- 90 White

- 880 Blue

-170 Black

Step 4: Start Folding

This is by far the most repetitive step, but hang in there! Check out the pictures above on how to fold the units. Also, remember that these units do not have to be folded neatly. Here, quantity is more important than quality! After each unit, I recommend sticking them into each other (as in the last picture) to stretch them out. This will give the final product a more appealing and "full" look. Also, if you have any movies or TV shows you've always wanted to watch, now's the time. Making these units allows for great multitasking.

Step 5: Prepare for Assembly

For the assembly, you will want to start at the equator (circumference of 47 units) and move upward. Then proceed to work down towards the South. Down below are the number of units needed for each latitude South or North of the equator. Use the map you created earlier to determine the colors.

47 (Equator) -> 46 -> 45 -> 43 -> 41 -> 39 -> 37 -> 36 -> 35 -> 34 -> 31 -> 29 -> 27 -> 25 -> 22 -> 20 -> 16 (North/South Pole)

In order to decrease the number of units when working up towards the North Pole, use PICTURE #1

In order to decrease the number of units when working down to the South Pole, use PICTURE #2

Step 6: Assembly!!!

Here comes the fun part! This is where you really get a feel for the project, and it becomes unique. The units can be put together simply by sticking one on top of the other in a brick pattern (this is why I had you make the map like that). Also make sure you space the spreading or contracting areas I mentioned in Step 5 equally, or your globe will become lopsided. This may take a while, but I have added a lot of pictures, and feel free to contact me if you need more! I also recommend using the final product as your reference, because that is what ended up working for me.

Step 7: The Seven Continents

Use these pictures to make your continents.

Step 8: Oceans

This is for all of the space in between the continents.

Step 9: Make the Base

This last part is more open for you to try what you want. I kept it relatively simple by sticking a pencil through the globe, and taping/gluing the ends in place. The black arch was made by sticking a stream of units together, and was taped to the ends of the pencil. Keep in mind that the pencil DOES NOT go through the bottom part of the base as shown in the second picture, that was only useful for structure during the assembly. The base is the only part of this project that lacks some structure and solidity if you do not use any glue. If you have any other creative ideas for how to make the base, feel free to try them out!

Step 10: YOU'RE DONE!!!

just enjoy.

Paper Contest

Judges Prize in the
Paper Contest